IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Smoking Peer Effects among Adolescents: Are Popular Teens More Influential?


  • Robalino, Juan David

    () (Cornell University)


In this paper I analyze adolescent peer effects on cigarette consumption while considering the 'popularity' of peers. The analysis is based on AddHealth data, a four wave panel survey representative of American high-school students. The data include the social network of each school, which we use to measure peers' popularity from network centrality measures, in particular weighted-eigenvector centrality. We use lagged peers' behavior at the grade level to alleviate potential homophilic confounds, and we include school fixed effects to control for contextual confounds. We find that most of the aggregate peer effects regarding cigarette smoking come from the smoking propensity of the 20% most popular kids, suggesting a mediation from social status. This effect persists seven and thirteen years later (wave 3 and 4 of the data). Indeed, the smoking propensity of the bottom 80% seems to have a negative influence on the probability of smoking in the long run (wave 3 and 4). These results hint to the importance of knowing not only the smoking propensity within a school but also the place of the smokers within the social hierarchy of the school.

Suggested Citation

  • Robalino, Juan David, 2016. "Smoking Peer Effects among Adolescents: Are Popular Teens More Influential?," IZA Discussion Papers 9714, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9714

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
    2. Andrew E. Clark & Youenn Loheac, 2003. "It wasn't me, It was them! A Study of Social Influence in Risky Behaviour by Adolescents," DELTA Working Papers 2003-01, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    3. Krauth, Brian V., 2006. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 243-271, July.
    4. Edward C. Norton & Richard C. Lindrooth & Susan T. Ennett, 1998. "Controlling for the endogeneity of peer substance use on adolescent alcohol and tobacco use," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 439-453.
    5. Ryo Nakajima, 2007. "Measuring Peer Effects on Youth Smoking Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 897-935.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
    7. Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
    8. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
    9. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    10. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
    11. Edward C. Norton & Richard C. Lindrooth & Susan T. Ennett, 2003. "How measures of perception from survey data lead to inconsistent regression results: evidence from adolescent and peer substance use," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 139-148.
    12. Michell, Lynn & Amos, Amanda, 1997. "Girls, pecking order and smoking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(12), pages 1861-1869, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    peer effects; status;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9714. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.